National Party leader Bill English has spoken about his list MP Jian Yang, telling media this afternoon he was well aware of Dr Yang's employment and training history in China.
Mr English was responding to a New Zealand news service story earlier today.
"This is a New Zealand citizen. Dr Jian is a New Zealand citizen. The country is happy to have him as a citizen," Mr English said.
Mr English said he had been aware "from early on" that Dr Yang had had "military training, including military intelligence".
"He's never tried to hide that background.
"Until today, with these assertions, no one has questioned his loyalty in his activities as an MP."
Earlier, Dr Yang said he had been "nothing but upfront and transparent about my education and employment".
"I challenge those who are propagating these defamatory statements to front up and prove them.
"This is a smear campaign by nameless people who are out to damage me and the National Party 10 days from an election, just because I am Chinese."
Labour Party leader Jacinda Ardern would not comment, saying it was an "issue for the National Party to respond to".
National list MP Jian Yang
Source: Facebook: Jian Yang MP